I just changed job locations where I can now commute by bike to work about nine miles in each direction. I love it. Aside from having to stage clothes and shuffle my schedule a bit; I find its a great start and finish to the work day. Just wondering if anyone has any good tips which they find useful to the whole commuting thing.
In all of the universe there is only one person with your exact charateristics. Just like there is only one person with everybody else's characteristics. Effectively, your uniqueness makes you pretty average.
I went three years, once, with no car and only my bikes. Of course having a place to take a shower and change clothes is key. No way I could've done that without the ability to take a shower. Not sure how experienced a cyclist you are but a rearview mirror is critical for riding in traffic. I live in a cold winter climate so having appropriate gear for the cold is critical. Layers, all about layers. Make damn sure you're carrying a pump and tube repair kit and know how to fix a flat, it's inevitable you'll get flats. Of course using puncture resistant tires help a lot also. Will you be riding in the rain? If so, full length fenders and rain gear are a must. Breathable fabric is key.
- baby wipes in the office for a quick refresh, if needed. When I bike-commuted in DC this was very necessary during the summer.
- some kind of face cleaning pad (I found a great cucumber based one at Whole Foods) to wipe away any sweat or grime and also to refresh
- even though I biked in my suit pants, I always had a change of clothes, just in case.
I also found it was easier then I expected to bike in my suit pants. Again, depending on your summer in DC, this may not be the way to go. I would bike in sneakers, and either keep a pair of shoes at the office or in a bag on my bike.
I would definitely invest in a lighting system for the front and back of your bike. In addition, a bright yellow/orange vest to be seen. Carry CO2 cartridges - much more efficient and easier then using a mini-pump.
Also, be prepared for strange looks or having to explain yourself - though, this seems to be diminishing as the years go on.
About all I can think of for now. I'll just re-iterate, this wound up being much easier then I expected. Good luck - and enjoy the extra movement!
Congrats! And welcome to the two wheel freedom! Like the other posters said, extra tube and pump and know how to actually change a tire! Dress comfortably, and have fun. Help ya get in shape, and save money by not filling the gas tank as much. The miles add up. Last year I commuted 1800 miles, that's 6 tanks of gas!! Good luck and ride on!!
I do carry tubes and tools for tire repair but since I put kevlar inserts in I've not had a flat on the road. I only do 5 miles and just try to take it easy if it's real hot. I don't have an office job so it's not so critical if I'm a little sweaty.
Wheat is the new tobacco. Spread the word.
Once the weather improves a little I plan on biking to work (4 miles each way). My plan is to take a couple of changes of clothes to work on a day that I take the car, then I can bike in workout gear and change when I get there. We do have a shower at work, but in all likelihood, I'll just use baby wipes.
My commute is on a bus route where some of the buses have bike racks on the front, so I'll carry a couple of bus tickets with me in case of any issues with the bike or the weather. I could also walk it, if need be.
Very envious of all who can commute by bike. Unfortunately, my 28 mile commute (each way) across some exceptionally hilly terrain would take me close to 2.5 hours. Each way.
Striving to live a life extraordinary.
awesome, love bike commuting!
+1 for fenders, lights, and layers. I ride year round, so I'm down with the cold and wet and even wind. Actually I get nervous in summer because there's a lot more exposed skin to get banged up if I fall.